Christopher T. Sheean


Christopher T. Sheean is a partner at Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, and is Chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group. Chris represents national and international corporations in various types of commercial, corporate and intellectual property litigation matters throughout the United States. His intellectual property practice involves issues of trademark and trade secret misappropriation, copyright infringement, unfair competition and advertising injury claims. He also handles a broad spectrum of general corporate issues and disputes including complex breach of contract claims and multidistrict consumer class actions. As the lead trial lawyer in many cases, Chris has successfully litigated often complex and cutting-edge commercial and intellectual property claims in both federal and state courts. His business-oriented approach to all litigation frequently results in both a favorable and a cost-effective outcome for the client. Chris has served as an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Northwestern University Law School since 2009. He has been designated with the highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent, since 2002, and has been selected as a Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation by American Lawyer Media every year since 2012.


Commercial Litigation and Business Disputes
Intellectual Property Litigation and Transactional Services
Employment Litigation and Counseling
Product Liability
Class Action Defense
Entertainment and Media Law

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Defense Research Institute
    • Chair, Commercial Litigation Committee, 2015-2016
    • Vice Chair, Commercial Litigation Commitee, 2014-2015 
  • Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy
  • International Trademark Association
  • Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago
  • Race Director, Big Shoulders 5K Open Water Swim


  • Rated AV (highest rating) by Martindale-Hubbell since 1999
  • 2012 Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation by American Lawyer Media


  • “Illinois Class Action Law,” DRI’s Compendium on Class Action Law, Spring 2011
  • “’Bad To The Bone’ -7th Cir. Bars Plaintiffs’ Class Action Lawyer From Filing Copycat Lawsuits,” DRI Business Suit E-Newsletter, November 2010
  • “Misappropriation of Non-Trade Secret Information Actions,” DRI’s For The Defense, October 2008
  • “Illinois Trade Secrets Law,” Compendium on Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Clauses, DRI Publications, May 2008, Updated May 2012
  • “Strategies for Defeating Class Certification in Mass Tort Cases,” Exploring Toxic Tort and Environmental Liability Claims, DRI Publications, July 2007
  • “Defending Trade Secrets Claims,” DRI Defending Intellectual Property Compendium, Vol. 2, DRI Publications, March 2007


  • “Covenants Not to Compete and Trade Secrets,” Web Presentation to DRI Corporate Counsel Committee, September 2014
  • “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Its Scope, Power and Potential Impact,” DRI Business Litigation Seminar, Washington, D.C., May 2014
  • “Video Gaming: A Jackpot For Your Establishment?” Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys Spring Seminar, Chicago, IL, April 2014
  • “Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Agreements,” DRI Webinar, October 2012
  • “Trade Secret Litigation Trends,” DRI Business Litigation and Intellectual Property Litigation Seminar, New York, NY, May 2012
  • “Invasion of the Class Action Privacy Lawsuits,” DRI Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., October 2011


Chicago, January 16, 2019
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Attorneys Named Leading Lawyers, Emerging Lawyers for 2019
Those designated Leading Lawyers were recommend by their peers to be among the top lawyers in Illinois.

Chicago, November 14, 2018
Sheean Speaks at DRI Insurance Coverage Conference
Sheean will offer a welcome and introduction to attendees at the November symposium.

Chicago, January 11, 2018
Sheean Speaks at DRI Product Liability Conference
Sheean will address "Assault on Crossbows: Tales from the Front Lines in Defense of Shooting Sports."

Chicago, September 21, 2017
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Client Obtains Summary Judgment in Copyright Case
The ruling granted Frenchy's summary judgment as defendant in an action brought by a former employee.

Chicago, May 9, 2017
Sheean, Wahl Speak at DRI Business Litigation Seminar
Sheean chairs the DRI Business Litigation Committee; Wahl will speak to young lawyers on copyright basics in musical compositions and sound recordings.

Chicago, June 3, 2016
Sheean Obtains Favorable Settlement in False Advertising Case
The victory represents the culmination of a three-year litigation battle that included three separate reported decisions.

Chicago, October 1, 2015
Sheean Named Chair of DRI Commercial Litigation Committee
Sheean's first official meeting as chair will take place during DRI's Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Chicago, November 5, 2014
Sheean, Keating Defeat Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification in SkinnyGirl Margarita Case
The lawsuit alleged that SkinnyGirl Margarita was mislabeled as "all natural."

Chicago, July 23, 2013
Sheean Named Vice Chair of DRI Commercial Litigation Committee
Sheean's one year term as Vice Chair is effective immediately.

Chicago, September 12, 2012
Sheean Addresses Trade Secrets and Noncompete Agreements in Webcast
The webcast is presented by DRI's Commercial Litigation Committee.

Chicago, April 26, 2012
Sheean Addresses Trade Secrets Law at DRI Conference
Sheean will discuss strategies for litigating trade secrets claims at DRI's Business Litigation and Intellectual Property Seminar.

Chicago, October 18, 2011
Sheean Addresses Recent Increase in Privacy Lawsuits at DRI’s Commercial Litigation Meeting
Christopher T. Sheean focuses his presentation on one of "Six Hot Litigation Picks for 2012."

Chicago, February 24, 2011
Sheean Authors Blog Posting for Defense Research Institute
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Partner Christopher T. Sheean recently authored a blog posting for the Defense Research Institute (DRI) blog, DRI Today.

Chicago, February 15, 2011
Sheean Quoted in Chicago Tribune Article on Motorola Lawsuit
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Partner Christopher T. Sheean was quoted in an article in today’s Chicago Tribune titled, “Motorola Solutions heads to federal court; restraining order at issue.”

Chicago, September 16, 2009
Sheean Selected as Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University School of Law
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Partner Christopher T. Sheean has been selected as an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University School of Law to teach Trial Advocacy.

Chicago, February 23, 2009
Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP Announces Arrival of Christopher T. Sheean
Christopher T. Sheean has joined Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP’s Chicago office as a partner in its Intellectual Property Litigation and Transactional Services and Commercial Litigation and Business Disputes Practice Groups.

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